The Doomsday Conspiracy
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|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Preceded by||Memories of Midnight|
|Followed by||The Stars Shine Down|
The Doomsday Conspiracy is a thriller novel by American writer Sidney Sheldon published in 1991. The story concerns an American naval officer who encounters a mysterious force during an investigation in a balloon accident in the Swiss Alps.
The story begins with a swiss tour bus on a trip over the Alps stopping near a mysterious crash site close to the village of Uetendorf. One man faints, another vomits. A woman starts shaking uncontrollably. A priest claims to have seen the face of Satan. He claims that Armageddon is here.
Robert Bellamy of the ONI wakes up and is summoned to the NSA headquarters. There, General Mark Hilliard, the director of the NSA, assigns him to investigate an incident where a 'weather balloon' has crashed. He adds that there were some witnesses whom he wants Robert to track down. He is forcibly given a special credit card by Hilliard for his expenses. Robert's past is revealed in a flashback - He was a pilot in the US navy and fought in the Vietnam War. There, after a successful bombing mission along with Edward Whittaker, son of Admiral Ralph Whittaker, Robert's plane is attacked by enemy aircraft. He shoots one down, but the second hits his plane with a missile. As Robert fights to regain control, two more planes descend from the front and rake the plane with machine-gun fire. Robert, heavily injured, manages to eject, but Edward dies. Robert is picked up by a helicopter and transported to a hospital. Doctors declare that there is no chance of saving Robert. But a nurse intervenes and convinces doctors to operate Robert. Robert survives and becomes close to Susan Ward, the nurse. They later get married.
Robert goes to Zurich where he locates Hans Beckerman, the bus driver. He says that the people on the bus witnessed an UFO crash. He reveals the identity of another passenger, Fritz Mandel of Bern. Later a woman, seeking a lift in Beckerman's car, murders him and makes it look like an accident.The cycle continues ; as Robert locates the passengers one by one, they are mysteriously killed. Each murder is meticulously staged to appear as an accident. Mandel is crushed under a heavy hydraulic lift. Leslie Mothershed dies in a fire in his house. Dan Wayne is kicked to death by his stallion after it is provoked by the assassins. Olga Romanchanko is raped and strangled. Kevin Parker is stabbed to death. William Mann is shot dead and it's made to appear like a suicide. Laslo Bushfekete's cobra is let loose, which later bites him. Otto Schmidt's laboratory is tampered with and it results in him dying in an explosion. Father Patrini is poisoned to death.It's later revealed that Robert's marriage with Susan also dissolved, as his wife, starved for attention by Robert, married a rich business tycoon Monte Banks. Meanwhile, a mysterious person going by the code name Janus is preparing a sinister plot.
As Commander Robert Bellamy of US Navy is on the verge of completing his mission, he learns that he is being hunted by an unknown lethal force. Robert runs, escaping from the attackers, from Washington to Zurich, Rome and Paris.
As the story unfolds to reveal Bellamy's past – why the woman he loves cannot return his love, why his most beloved friends become his deadly enemies. Bellamy finally learns that the investigation ends in the place where he had started it. And how he wins over the enemies and his lady love back forms the final plot with unexpected twists and turns.
Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, named The Doomsday Conspiracy as the book that inspired him to write thriller fiction, citing its "simplicity of the prose and efficiency of the storyline".
- "BEST SELLERS: December 15, 1991". The New York Times. December 15, 1991.
- The two sources provided here differ on how Sheldon inspired Brown. He indicates on Page 3 of his 2006 witness statement that Sheldon's book was an attention-holding page turner that reminded him how fun it was to read, but the BBC source indicates that he thought he could "do better" than Sheldon.
- Lattman, Peter (March 14, 2006). "'The Da Vinci Code' Trial: Dan Brown's Witness Statement Is a Great Read". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Decoding the Da Vinci Code author". BBC. August 10, 2004. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
Memories of Midnight
|Sidney Sheldon Novels
The Stars Shine Down
About the Author: Sidney Sheldon is mainly Science-fiction and thriller writing novelist.
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